Guest Post

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Fond Farewell

When Marilyn Johnston, Tracy Hurley, and I created Lyrical Pens almost ten years ago, we were all novice bloggers and all working on our new fiction stories. It was an exciting time for us. Mobile Writers Guild - Tracy and I started it - was in its infancy, our critique groups were thriving, and hauling refreshments to each of the meetings seemed like a small price to pay for the growth process and exchanges of new ideas.
Through Tracy’s innovative ideas, she secured top talent to speak to our meetings and led the parade that created Home for the Holidays for Mobile Writers Guild - great food, crafts, readings, and book sales. Tracy was the first writer who told me I had a gift for writing and should not ignore it; it would change my life. Her organizational skills dreamed and made the MWG annual Christmas party a hit, securing Carolyn Haines as our first speaker.

Marilyn (cj) was the first treasurer for MWG. She got the ball rolling by organizing our accounts, managing our funds, opening the first checking account, paying bills, etc. She was the business head behind what is still an active organization in Mobile. Marilyn gave me the first truly valuable critique that went beyond “I liked it.” My writing has grown tremendously under her editing and advice. It was a joy to create annual calendars and new ideas for Lyrical Pens. Together, we sought out well-known writers and local talent on their way up the writing ladder to pen unique blogs for you.

As you all know, Tracy left us much too soon, only a few short months after moving from Mobile to Maryland. It was a shock that left Marilyn and I reeling. Tracy was the computer “geek” who had secured the URL, set up the blog site, and she maintained it. She was our sense of humor, a major creative think tank on her own. When she was gone, I was thankful that I am a good note taker, or Marilyn and I would have been lost on more fronts.

To create the blog initially, the three of us drank gallons of tea and coffee and worked over Tracy’s laptop at Panera’s for hours. Marilyn and I were full of advice but not so full of computerese. The name Lyrical Pens was Marilyn’s idea, and we loved it from the start!

Over the past year, Marilyn has grown the followers and weekly bloggers who check into Lyrical

Pens, while I was off growing my editing and writing business, creating my new website, newsletter, and Barefoot Writing Academy. She has two great books on sale, has won numerous contests, has appeared in many printed anthologies, and secured a name for herself in the world of mystery writers. I am proud of her work and especially happy to be her friend. Oh, and ever so grateful that she still makes time to review my work.

This is my last post on Lyrical Pens. I thank all of you who followed and commented on my blog posts, entered my crazy writing contests, and support Barefoot Writing Academy. I hope all of you will join me at My site lists my editorial and writing services, updates on new classes, and you can sign-up to receive my newsletter, Tea & Empathy. It is designed especially for writers and contains current industry information, marketing tips to Celebrate Your Book!, tea recipes, and more.

I leave Lyrical Pens with a definite sense of loss, but if my growing years have taught me anything, it is that sometimes we have to let go to get where we need to go. I leave this wonderful site in the capable hands of the excellent mystery/thriller writer, c j petterson.


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